It all started with an email last week from my friend Patrick.
Patrick and I met and became good friends when he and his family moved to Troy toward the end of our freshman year in high school. After high school, he went to Ohio University in Athens, whereas I eventually ended up at Bowling Green State University. Each of us ended up living near our respective universities after graduation, meaning that we're currently about a four-hour drive (according to Google Maps) away from each other. Needless to say, we don't get the chance to get together very often; so when he emailed me saying he would be spending part of this week in Columbus, I immediately started planning for which night would be best for us to do so.
Columbus is essentially the midway point between Bowling Green and Athens. It's much easier to meet there on occasion than for one of us to make the whole drive to either location. Even that doesn't happen nearly often enough, though. Brandi and I emailed back and forth throughout the day after I heard from Patrick to figure out which evening would be best for us to make the drive down there. Once we decided on Tuesday, it was time for another email. After all, my friend Jessica (with whom Patrick and I also went to high school) and her husband Matt live in Columbus, and we see them infrequently as well; so why not kill two birds with one stone?
And so it was that the six of us met for dinner on Tuesday evening: Matt and Jess, Patrick and his wife Sarah, and Brandi and myself. Sarah's attendance was a pleasant surprise, as Patrick had originally indicated that she wouldn't be attending. It just happened that she also had reason to be in Columbus on Tuesday night, so it worked out all around.
We met at 7:30 (the earliest I could get to Columbus after getting off work in Toledo at 5:00 and stopping in BG to pick up Brandi) and didn't end up leaving the restaurant until nearly 11:00. It was a fantastic time, catching up, reminiscing about old times, making jokes. I'm a glutton for that sort of thing. My ten-year high school reunion was one thing; with a small group of old friends, it was even better. I would have sat there all night, even knowing I had to go into work early the next morning. Alas, the people I was with are more conscious of such things, and so we did eventually have to disperse.
It really is a shame that we aren't able to get together more often. It's almost enough to make me long for the old days. As much fun as we had back then, though, that's not precisely what I want. Sure, it would be awesome to be together each and every day, but each of us bring so much more to the table now. We're better and more interesting people than we were back then. Beyond that, such long periods of time between get-togethers probably helps me to appreciate it more when they do happen. Don't get me wrong, though: I'd love to be in a position to be in closer contact with all of my friends.
Another thing I want to recognize while I'm on the subject is how amazing it is that all of my friends who have gotten married have managed to marry people that I like. Is that rare? It seems to me that it is. And I don't just mean that they're "acceptable"; I mean that they're enjoyable to be around on their own merits. It's kind of funny, because I wouldn't describe myself as a "people person" by any means, and yet somehow I have lucked into a group of friends that is made up entirely of excellent people--intelligent, creative, passionate, kind, caring, and funny. I don't know what I would do or where I would be without them. I just wish we could all get together a little more often.